eBay vrs42?

From: chris <cb_at_mythtech.net>
Date: Sun Feb 13 01:56:17 2005

>Both wanted the item. Obviously before the end of the auction, they
>communicate and determine who will try to win it. After the auction, the
>one that declined to bid writes me asking for another identical item (and
>admits to colluding). Is this not an attempt to keep the price low?

And in my opinion, that little bit of detail that you left out totally
changes the ethics of the situation.

In your first explination, all you said was, the guy told you he decided
not to bid on it so his buddy could have it. The side effect was, no one
else bid on it, and so it sold at a lower price then you would have
normally gotten.

I still see nothing wrong with that. In that *exact* situation, the one
guy simply decided he wasn't as interested in it as his friend, so he
chooses not to bid at all, and the lower price is simply a side effect of
lower demand.

HOWEVER, the moment the guy comes to you and attempts to solicit a 2nd
unit from you, because he really DID want it, and decided not to bid
specifically to force the price low (artificial removal of demand), then
it changes the nature of the situation, and certainly brings into
question ultimate motive, and the overall ethics of it.

>Does anyone remember when Ebay allowed one legal shill per auction? It was
>a feature in the early days, sort of like a "buy-back", but I think many
>people took a dim view to it. I never used it because I feared getting a
>bad reputation as a shill. I am not sure when the feature went away - it
>sort of just faded in obscurity.

I'm honestly convinced that most sellers shill their auctions on a
regular basis. I came to this conclusion simply by watching the patterns
of items that get bids. Items with early bids almost always get outbid
early. Often there are multiple others of the same item going with no
bids. Logic would dictate that on average, this "phenomenon" would not
occur naturally, as people would be more likely on an item with no bids,
then on one that someone else has already set their sites on (in effect,
non discussed collusion of buyers).

Since this out bid issue occurs as often as it does, it draws that there
is some kind of a shill going on in an effort to increase selling prices.

Of course, I'm a cynic, so that may just be my dim view of society and
people on a whole that makes me see a pattern where none really exists
(regardless, it has made me do all my bidding in the last 2 minutes,
which has yielded me more wins and happy outcomes regardless of if I win
or lose.... if I lose on a bid made in the last 2 minutes, at least I
don't feel like I was shilled).

Received on Sun Feb 13 2005 - 01:56:17 GMT

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